The 10 Best Road Bikes Under 1000 Dollars of 2018
Cycling is gaining momentum both in the competitive and leisure world, and it’s no surprise. This hobby, which has been around for hundreds of years, is something that both men and women, young and old, fit and sedentary, can enjoy and learn to love.
The open road is appealing to many for both relaxation and commuting needs. Using a bike for your primary mode of transportation saves money, time, and the environment. Those who have been at it for some time may find themselves looking to invest in a nicer set of wheels to continue pursuing this passion. Others might also be interested in buying a high-quality but affordable bike for investment that can take them from beginner to expert without the need to upgrade.
Purchasing a road bike can be scary, but this article looks at the best road bikes under 1,000 –the good, the bad, and the ugly – to find the nicest set of wheels for the budget.
After doing hours of research, the Tommaso Forcella Endurance Aluminum Road Bike looks like the best road bike under $1000 because of its carbon fiber fork, lighter weight, high-quality Shimano drivetrain, and the lifetime frame warranty from Tommaso.
Without further ado, let's have a look at our top 10 picks of road bikes you can buy today.
Best Road Bikes Under $1000
Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike
Raleigh Bikes Merit 2 Endurance Road Bike
Tommaso Forcella Endurance Aluminum Road Bike
SAVADECK Carbon Road Bike
Ridley Fenix Alloy 105 FE701BM Bike with Safety Reflectors
Raleigh Bikes Women's Super Course Endurance Road Bike
Giordano Libero 2.0 Road Bike
Pure Cycles Classic 18-Speed Disc Road Bike
RapidCycle GRAND Road Bike 700CC
Cavalo 105 Alloy Road Bike
1. Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike
Tommaso is a name synonymous with well-made bikes, and the Imola Endurance is one of their most popular choices. It comes in six sizes and three colors, making it a great choice for any height size rider.
The bike has a light but sturdy aluminum frame, weighing in at 23.8 lbs. depending on the size. One of the most impressive features of Tommaso bikes is their Shimano groupset – the Imola is equipped with a Shimano R2000 Claris groupset, offering 24 speeds.
The brakes are Shimano Claris dual-pivot brake calipers, the fork is vibration-absorbing steel, and the tires are 25mm wide. This bike is well-loved by many riders, and the reviews reflect that. The biggest downfall of this bike is the wheels – many reported having trouble with them, and that they needed to be replaced to match the quality of the rest of the bike.
Overall, the Imola looks like one of the best road bikes under $1000 – it’s even well-below that price! Its high-quality groupset and sturdy construction, plus Tommaso’s respected U.S.-based customer service, make it a definite contender for the top pick.
2. Raleigh Bikes Merit 2 Endurance Road Bike
The Raleigh Bikes Merit 2 Endurance road bike is another well-made bike from a well-known bike company. The Merit 2 comes in a classy silver color and six sizes. The aluminum frame and fork keep the bike lightweight at 23.5 lbs.
The Shimano Claris groupset is high-quality and smooth with 16 speeds to choose from. The mechanical disc brakes are a popular choice with cyclists, as their braking power is not affected by weather or road conditions. The tires are 28mm wide which can give some much-needed traction on various terrains.
While the color combo is not everyone’s favorite, the bike has lots of other good features that make it one of the top picks for the best road bikes under $1000. It has a more relaxed geometry for both new and experienced leisure or commuter riders, and there are eyelets included for attachments.
Like Tommaso, Raleigh Bikes also offers a limited lifetime warranty on their frame and a one-year warranty on their components; however, the bike is a bit more expensive than the Tommaso. The Merit 2 looks like a great bike for those who encounter a bit of rough terrain on their rides because of the wider tires, or those who ride in a lot of wet conditions and need the braking power the disc brakes offer.
3. Tommaso Forcella Endurance Aluminum Road Bike
Given its reputation, it’s no surprise to see another Tommaso bike on the list. The Forcella Endurance is a bit more expensive than the Imola, but it does offer some extra perks to those who are more serious about their cycling. The Forcella comes in six sizes and two stylish matte colors.
With similar features to the Imola, like an aluminum frame, Shimano Claris Groupset with 24 speeds, and Shimano Claris dual-pivot brake calipers, the Forcella comes in a bit lighter at 22.7 lbs. This is due, in part, to the addition of the carbon fiber fork, which offers incredible strength while shaving off pounds, and doing an excellent job of absorbing road vibrations.
So is it worth the extra couple hundred dollars to upgrade from the Imola to this? If you’re planning on doing a lot of long-distance riding, where the weight reduction could be useful, or if speed is a concern of yours, then it’s worth a try. Owners had great things to say about it, and thanks to Tommaso’s limited lifetime frame warranty and one-year components’ warranty, it’s not too much of a risk.
Like the Imola, the Forcella looks like a great choice for a good road bike under 1000. Is it worth the upgrade? If you’re racing, doing long distance rides, or your roads are bumpy, go for the Forcella. It’s a well-made bike with high-quality components that can stand up to heavy riding and provide a great time, and it won this comparison’s title of “Best Road Bikes Under 1,000 Dollars.”
4. SAVADECK Carbon Road Bike
The first carbon fiber road bike in the line-up, the SAVADECK Warwinds3.0 700c Road Bike comes in four sizes and four flashy and unique color combinations. It weighs in at 21.16 lbs., making it one of the lightest bikes in this article. While light, the carbon fiber is as strong as steel and reduces road vibrations with the same power.
The brakes are also a bit different than previous bikes, with double-v braking power. The Shimano Derailleur system offers 22 speeds, and the wheels are a slim 23mm wide. Reviewers rave about this bike, from the high-quality aspects, the attention to detail that SAVADECK shows, and the ease of its assembly.
For the serious biker who wants something lightweight, strong, smooth, and cool-looking, the SAVADECK Warwinds is a great investment. Reviewers noted that the bike is well-built and rides like a much more expensive bike. Due to the high-quality components and carbon fiber frame, this is a bike to enjoy for many years to come.
5. Ridley Fenix Alloy 105 FE701BM Bike with Safety Reflectors
Manufactured in Belgium with a long line of racing titles behind its name, Ridley makes professional-worthy road bikes and even road bikes with professional quality at an affordable price. The Fenix is an all-around road bike, comfortable enough for long rides but performs well in racing too.
The frame is aluminum and the fork is carbon fiber. It features a Shimano 105 drivetrain and 22 speeds. The cables are set through the frame, and the diamond cross-section tubes look nice and ride comfortably. The wheels are 25mm wide and the bike weighs a total of about 20 lbs.
Reviewers had lots of impressive things to say about this bike, from its obviously high-quality and well-built design to the foam packaging it arrived in. While the colors may not be the most neutral or eye-catching, the other aspects of the bike make up for that.
Reviewers only had good things to say about this bike – all its reviews are rated five stars. It looks like a great choice for someone who wants a well-built bike for speed and endurance, and one that has high-quality composition and components to keep repairs to a minimum. It definitely ranks as one of the best road bikes under 1000 – a worthy consideration if the size and price are right.
6. Raleigh Bikes Women's Super Course Endurance Road Bike
This one is for the ladies. With the same famous Raleigh Bikes quality and lifetime warranty on the frame and fork, the Super Course Endurance is a steel frame with an aluminum fork, weighing in at 23.4 lbs. The derailleurs, cranks, brake levers, and shifter are all high-quality Shimano Claris, and the bottom bracket and cogset are from Shimano as well.
This bike comes in two stylish blue colors and four sizes, with minimal extra designs, and a comfortable, yet stylish, Brooks saddle. Reviewers commented on how good-looking and retro the bike was, without giving up any speed or endurance. This bike is a head-turner with lots of style and functionality.
Classy and functional, this bike will be sure to turn heads and keep up with the big boys. It’s a mid-range price for this category, and while it may not have some of the flashy features of the others, it’s a great road bike for women (and the right-sized men) who want an affordable, light, and sturdy road bike for commuting or leisure.
7. Giordano Libero 2.0 Road Bike
Inspired and designed by Italian racing experts, the Giordano Libero 2.0 is their original road bike design and their intermediate level offering for road cyclists. The lightweight aluminum frame is equipped with a Shimano Sora 18-speed drivetrain, and the entire bike weighs between 23-25 lbs. depending on the size, which includes the kickstand and reflectors.
It comes in three sizes, side pull brakes, and 25mm wide tires. The fork is made of strong and shock-absorbing carbon fiber, and the colors are a classy black, white, and red combination. The 23mm tires are great for long road-rides and quick speeds, but some reviewers mentioned that the tires were low quality and affected the usefulness of the side pull brakes.
A great bike, and well under the $1000 price mark, the Libero 2.0 has a sturdy design, a high-quality Shimano drivetrain, and a shock-absorbing carbon fork. Is it much better than any of the previous bikes listed?
For the price, it may be your best choice for a road bike that combines smoothness with speed, but it doesn’t necessarily seem to be the best road bike under 1000 when compared to the others on the list.
8. Pure Cycles Classic 18-Speed Disc Road Bike
A fun, minimalistic bike offered in six sizes and three nice colors, the Pure Cycles Classic 18-Speed Disc Road Bike offers a strong steel frame and fork that can handle many miles on the road. It features Shimano Sora derailleurs and brake levers, and 28mm wide tires, which can handle lots of different road conditions with ease.
Disc brakes offer high stopping power and are not affected by road and weather conditions, as the braking takes place on a separate disc, and not the rim of the tire. The bike itself weighs 26 lbs. and is a popular choice of both men and women thanks to its many size options.
Pure Cycles offers a fully-built delivery option, which brings a ready-to-ride bike to your door for just an extra $100! Both this and the bike shop pickup, which is the same price, automatically activate the lifetime warranty on the frame and the one-year warranty on the components.
Well under the price range of $1000, this bike is stylish and simple and offers some great features to cyclists. Overall, it doesn’t seem to have better features than some of the other bikes in this list, but it’s definitely an option for those wanting a decent road bike for an affordable price.
9. RapidCycle GRAND-20sp Shimano Tiagra Aluminum Road Bike 700CC
A newer brand name on the list, RapidCycle cuts no corners when manufacturing the Grand road bike. This bike is made of aircraft-quality alloy steel, the frame and fork have a lifetime warranty, and it comes in three colors (including a bright and eye-catching completely red frame) and two sizes.
As the name suggests, the bike is equipped with a Shimano Tiagra Race groupset, giving 20 speeds overall for any type of topography. It features brake calipers and 23mm wide wheels. Even with the steel frame, it weighs in at a light 22-24 lbs., depending on the size.
Reviewers had mostly great things to say about this bike, including that its construction was well-done, it was packaged well when it arrived, and that the handlebar grips were extremely comfortable. The wheels are not the greatest quality, but overall this seems like a much nicer bike than the price (well under $1000) would suggest.
The RapidCycle is definitely a bike to consider when shopping for a high-quality and affordable road bike. However, its few sizes and flashy colors may deter some shoppers who may find a better choice in some of the previously mentioned options.
10. Cavalo 105 Alloy Road Bike
From the Nashbar brand comes the Cavalo 105 Alloy road bike (cavalo is “horse” in Portuguese). It’s one of their most loved road bikes and comes in six sizes and a unique black and lime green color pattern.
The aluminum frame is paired with a carbon fiber fork and Shimano 105 5800 11-speed components. The 25mm wide tires are a nice mid-ground between extremely thin racing tires and more durable road tires. At 20.3 lbs., it’s one of the most lightweight bikes in this list. Its dual-pivot caliper brakes make for a reliable stopping power, although some users wish that Cavalo had stuck with the Shimano 105 components for the brakes as well.
The tires are high-quality Vittoria Zaffiro brand, and they alone add a lot of value to the bike. They have a low TPI, which make them resistant to punctures and very durable. Due to their grips, however, they may perform sluggishly on longer rides.
While impressive, there aren’t really any features that make this bike stand out over the other bikes listed in this article. The Shimano drivetrain would be more complete with matching brakes, and the one color choice probably won’t appeal to all buyers.
Steel: A traditional bike material, steel is very sturdy and strong, holding up to rough rides and heavy weights. The bikes will also be the heaviest of the materials, and steel doesn’t always do well in wet climates due to oxidation.
Aluminum: Much more lightweight than steel, and without the humidity concerns, aluminum is currently the most popular bike material because of its weight and price point. However, aluminum may not hold up to heavier riders, and it can be more easily bent in crashes or heavy impact.
Carbon Fiber: The highest price and quality of bike materials, carbon fiber is a composite that boasts the strength of steel with the light weight of aluminum. Of course, that claim comes with a heavy price tag, and carbon fiber is better suited to professional cyclists who truly need the pounds shaved off of their bikes.
Road bike wheels will be a bit of a cross between very thin, lightweight racing wheels, and more sturdy, all-terrain mountain biking wheels in their width. While the widths vary based on terrain needs, the common wheel size for road bikes is 700cc.
The most common road wheel rims will be composed of aluminum, with professional bikers choosing carbon fiber for reduced weight.
The most common type of tire tubes is clincher tires, which simply means they have a tube of air inside the tire.
Tubular tires have a similar makeup to clincher tires, but the tube of air is enclosed and protected within the wheel. These types of tires are harder to repair and are best left to the professionals.
Tubeless tires are most commonly found on mountain bikes but are gaining popularity with road bikers. These tires feature an airtight clincher system with no inner tube.
Pedals are definitely a personal preference for many road bikers, and a variety are available depending on the needs and desires of the cyclist.
Platform bike pedals are the most common type of pedal and what you’ll find on most road bikes direct from the manufacturer. They are also what most riders used on their beginner bikes when first learning to ride. They are usually lightweight, easy to dismount, and include traction grips.
Toe clips (also called toe cages) are not nearly as popular as they once were. They involve small frames that the rider’s toes are inserted into and allow the rider to pedal down through the stroke, but also pull back up through it too.
Clipless bike pedals involve special shoes that let the rider clip into the pedal, much like a ski boot into skis. They were developed as an easier-to-remove alternative to the toe clips.
The most common type of brake on road bikes are caliper brakes, which are mounted in the middle and above each wheel, and that clamp down on the rim of the wheel when the levers are pulled.
Amongst caliper brakes, the most popular are dual pivot brakes. They are easy to maintain and provide great stopping power.
V-brakes, mostly popular with mountain bikers, have begun to gain popularity with road bikers as well. These are mounted onto bosses on the frames and fork and can be used in different conditions and allow clearance for mudguards.
Disc brakes are another popular type of brake. These are mounted onto a separate disc that’s attached to the hub and operates without touching the actual wheel rim. This makes them a great choice for various weather conditions.
Components are the aspects of the bike that are replaceable, unlike the frame or fork. High-quality components are really what make the difference between a high-quality road bike and a mediocre road bike. However, nice components can also raise the price of the bike.
A name brand like Shimano is something to look for when shopping for a road bike. A drivetrain, in the meantime, is a complete set that is designed to function together and works best as a whole.
Some bike manufacturers will try to attract buyers by throwing out a name brand of a few of their components, but the rest of their components are third-party pieces that are not high-quality or made to function with the name brand components.
Thankfully, most components are replaceable, so if you find a really great deal on a frame you love, a lot can be done to improve the various parts of the bike.
After looking at the best road bikes under 1000, it’s clear that there are a lot of great option for cyclists out there who are looking for a high-quality ride without too hefty of an investment. The bike offerings available make it easy for anyone to afford to enjoy getting out on the open road and riding for as long as desired.
At this price range, materials and components matter, and there were quite a few options like the Tommaso bikes and Raleigh Bikes that offer high-quality frames with Shimano brand components.
In the end, the greatest factor in a successful riding trip is you, because it is you who will have to decide to buy that bike and take it out on the road. Whether you’re a beginner or an avid cyclist, there are many affordable and well-made road bikes you can choose from to make sure your chosen bike can keep up with you and your travels.